Using Cleanlists

You've seen how to clean individual items, and multiple items, but there's another way to clean a mixed collection of items all at once: using cleanlists. You might remember that you can Command-Click or Shift-Click to select multiple items for cleaning. Cleanlists let you save those multiple items in a list, similar to a playlist in iTunes, or an album in iPhoto, so you can easily clean them all at once whenever you want, without having to re-create the list each time. Here's how it works.

To create a cleanlist, do one of the following:

  • Choose File > New Cleanlist
  • Press Command-N
  • Click the + button at the bottom-left corner of Washing Machine's main window

You'll see a new icon in the Sources list labeled "untitled cleanlist". You can change its name by double-clicking it, or Option-clicking it, and typing a new name.

Now it's time to set up your cleanlist. Click on the Library source to see all your items. Then click and drag items you'd like to add to the cleanlist, either singly or in groups. You can see, below, two items being moved; the dark border around the cleanlist indicates that they're going to the right place.

When you've finished selecting items to clean, click on the cleanlist itself. You'll see a list of the items you selected.

You can remove an item from the cleanlist in one of three ways:

  • Click the item to select it, then press the Delete key
  • Hold down the Control key and click on the item, then choose Remove…
  • Click the item to select it, then choose Edit > Remove

As before, you clean items by selecting them and clicking the Clean… button in the bottom-right corner; hold down the Option key to clean them securely.

To delete the entire cleanlist, click it in the Sources list to select it, then click the - button, or Control-Click its icon and choose Remove….

Why not just select items from the Library when you want to clean them? Cleanlists offer three advantages:

  • Your selection of items stays the same from session to session: you don't have to remember what you want cleaned;
  • You can schedule cleanlists for periodic, automatic cleaning (see Using Schedules to Clean Your Mac Automatically);
  • Items remain in the cleanlist even after they've been cleaned. By contrast, items usually disappear from the Library after they've been cleaned. (That's the default setting; you'll learn how to change this later, so cleanable items always appear in the Library.)

But let's say you want to clean files that meet certain criteria, rather than names. You're in luck! Washing Machine can automatically select files to clean based on your criteria, using smart cleanlists.


Click here for the Washing Machine 2 User Manual

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